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Home > News > Doncaster 23 - Pontypridd 35
Your News Doncaster 23 - Pontypridd 35

Doncaster Knights will spend the week trying to work out how they lost this British & Irish Cup group game having dominated the scrums though out, ruled the line outs through young lock Dom Parsons and apparently well on top as the game approached half time. However they will only have to look at their inability to penetrate the visitors defence in spite of all their territorial advantage in the first half and a porous defence once Pontypridd overcame their early lack of possession.

For their third B&I Cup game, Knights Director of Rugby Lynn Howells again made a number of changes from the side that had won away at Llandovery the previous weekend as he sort to rotate his small squad already suffering from a number of injuries and unavailabilitys. In the backs Dougie Flockhart came in at full back to allow Steve McColl to nurse his injured shoulder, with Matt Williams returning on the wing. At scrum half Craig Hampson, from Leeds Carnegie Academy and on loan from Otley, came in for Nathan Jones who sustained an ankle injury last Saturday. In the pack, Dan Frazier and Steve Boden came in for Stuart Corsar and Steve Lawrie at prop and hooker respectively, young Dom Parsons played at lock in place of dual registered James Craig who had been recalled by Leeds for one week, Chris Walker played at flanker in place of Jacob Rowan (both players being dual registered with Leeds) and Latu Makaafi started in the back row in place of Zack Farivarz.

The game kicked off in perfect conditions for rugby and it was the Knights who went into the lead after 7 minutes through a penalty by fly half Tristan Roberts. Although Simon Humberstone equalised for Pontypridd after 10 minutes, the Knights piled on the pressure and they pinned Pontypridd deep in their own 22 for almost 15 minutes. Unfortunately a lack of penetration and poor referring as the Knights attempted a series of pushover tries meant that they failed to turn pressure into points until the 25 minutes when centre PJ Gidlow crashed over from close in for a try that Roberts converted. Roberts extended his sides lead with another penalty as half-time approached but then Pontypridd had one last attack as they entered the Knights 22 for just about the first time in the match. After attacking down the middle, the ball was moved to the left where wing Owen Williams evaded three attempted tackles to score in the corner with the last play of the half.

Turning around 13 points to 8 ahead the Knights were looking to continue taking the game to their opposition through their powerful pack but they put themselves under pressure when Gidlow was yellow carded for dangerous player after only 2 minutes. Pontypridd hit the Knights straight away as they won a 5 metre lineout and replacement hooker Kristian Dacey crashed over after the initial drive had been repulsed. Humberstone converted this try but the visitors 4 point lead was reduced shortly afterwards through a Roberts penalty. With the Knights back at full strength, it was Pontypridd who suffered when Dacey was yellow carded for foul play after 50 minutes and Doncaster took advantage of their numerical superiority when winger Andy Wright pounced on a delicate grubber kick by Roberts who then proceeded to convert his teams try from close to touch. Almost from the restart however Pontypridd made light of Daceys absence as firstly centre Dafydd Lockyer broke through two poor attempted tackle and then, from the resultant ruck 15 metres out, scrum half Lewis Jones dummied before evading some poor defence to race over. Humberstones conversion put Pontypridd ahead and, shortly afterwards, he kicked a penalty when Knights Flockhart was yellow carded for a technical offence. Another Humberstone penalty after 64 minutes put Pontypridd 7 points clear but the Knights, although they took the game back at their visitors, were unable to penetrate their resolute defence. As the final whistle approached, Pontypridd had one last attack and, after they had been stopped just short, centre Lockyer crashed through yet another poor Knights tackle to score from 5 metres out. Humberstones conversion took his side into a 12 points lead and it was game over for the Knights.

After the game Howells said that his side had a lot of questions to answer as, having dominated the first 40 minutes, they had no excuses for their poor execution of their handling and the number of first up tackles that they missed. After the game talisman lock Glen Kenworthy apologised to the Knights fans for the teams performance and stressed the importance to the squad of next Saturdays Championship match at home against Plymouth as both sides sort to secure their places in the promotion play offs.

Doncaster Knights: Flockhart, Wright, Devlin (Briers 62), Gidlow, Williams, Roberts, Hampson, Frazier (Corsar 46), Boden (Doughty 79), Cusack (Thiede 77), Kenworthy, Parsons, Challinor, Makaafi (Cochrane 55), Walker (Farivarz 62) Replacement not used: McColl

Pontypridd: Thomas, Wyatt, Lockyer, G Dacey, O Williams, Humberstone, Jones (Lucas 77), S Williams (John 38), R Williams (K Dacey HT), Knaggs, Locke, Savage (Screechy 77), Siggery (Callum 70), Dicomidis, Waters Replacements not used: Gunter, Thomas

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